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Old 01-10-2014, 10:37 PM   #16
PhillipsMetal OP
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Location: Alabaster, AL
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June 5, 2013

Left Creel today and headed west. My whole reason for seeing Creel on this trip was to mark it off my list and concentrate my next trips down the east coast and back up the west coast. Instead Creel has turned out to be a place that I will return to explore and visit.



My plan was to make it to San Nicolas for the night. On the map it looked like it would be large enough find a place to crash for the night, then I would continue down 12 to Ciudad Obregon, then up the coast to Santa Clara, right outside of Guaymas to see my friend.







The road from San Jaunito to Cajurichic is a beautifully groomed road that meanders through the mountain. I was between 6,000 feet and 9,000 feet for most of the ride and the temps were 75 – 85 degrees. From there I stopped in Basaeachic for lunch. I was enjoying the ride so much I blew off a visit to the falls.














Burritos were served from a small food trailer and the cook was as cheerful and happy as anyone I met down here so far. Her young son was working with her in the kitchen and when a customer sat down in front of him, the boy pulled out a book and started writing and sharing his notes with the man and they talked back and forth.







As I rose to leave, the boy handed me his piece of paper where he had translated from the book. It read: You must ride like the carrera. I figured carrera must be something cool, so I gave him a big smile and laughed and said thank you. I found out later carrera meant race or run. He would have been very disappointed to know if I rode any slower, I would have to put an orange triangle on the back of my bike and live in a house with no electricity.







I rode the rough and undulating MX-16, dodging cars, pot holes and wrecks. Two bad ones. One was a big truck that went off a cliff and another head on that collected a third car. No serious injuries. There were parts and pieces of old mishaps along the way.











The temperature eased up over a 100 and stayed there until a couple hours after dark.



As I approached my destination of San Nicolas right after dark, I was stopped right out of town at a Army check point. It was the usual check my papers, then look thru my stuff, then ask me a bunch of questions about the motorcycle. An enterprising young man had set up a temporary store with snacks and beverages at the checkpoint. After a big debate amongst the 8 or 10 guys there on how much my bike must have cost, I indicated that I was going into the town for a room to spend the night. Bad news – no rooms. The Army has them all. Their recommendation is Hermosillo.


I took a left on to Highway 12 in hopes of following my original route, but the road was solid black asphalt with no lines and in the pitch black it was like riding into a black hole. So I turned around, rode back through the check point and headed toward Hermosillo.


I tip toed through what must have been a thousand curves, avoiding the debris and animals, except for one – that was one huge rabbit! On this road I saw a bobcat, some turkeys, tons of rabbits, donkeys, horses and dogs. And rocks – lots of rocks.





Well after dark I fell in behind a car that seemed to be having trouble holding the road at 30 mph, so I stayed back and it wasn’t long before we caught another weaving car doing about 25 mph. I followed them for a few miles when we reached Tecoripa and both of the cars pulled off into an outdoor bar that had a pretty good crowd. The town was maybe a half mile from end to end and there are two motels (yea!) next to a bare bones truck stop. Then the outdoor bar, a few businesses, a tiny town square and at the end of the road, my supper.




The grill was right outside a tiny store front that I am guessing had living quarters inside. I grabbed a drink from the store and ordered off the grill. All of the guys there were dressed in working clothes and had the weary looks of a day in the hellacious heat on their faces, except for one nicely dressed gentleman seated at the front. He invited me to sit with him and, even without understanding the language, I could tell he was the big man on the block. Everybody came by and shook his hand and shot the breeze with him. He was a big man with big smile and enjoyed bantering with the folks. He could have been the mayor for all I know.


I think Lou Reed probably had the same experience in a different place at a different time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature..._B_2XWMs#t=188


I eased back to the motels, looking to lay low here. This is obviously a working man’s town, a truck stop on the hill, and even though everyone is nice enough, mixing a hard days work with the heat and the alcohol from the outdoor bar across the street can be trouble in any language.



I rode through both motels and neither of them has on office. After my 3rd trip through the worst looking of the two an old man jogs over from the truck stop and waves me down to tell me the office is in the truck stop. Even at 10 o’clock at night there were new semi trucks pulling in and spraying down their radiators to bring the temps down in their trucks. It is hot.


I park and wander in a tiny, cluttered office and the obvious owner is there. A short, stocky gruff looking guy hand me a key and tells me 300 pesos (about $25 US). I know he could see the look on my face that I wanted to rent the room, not buy it, but I was too tired and clearly not in a bargaining position, so I took it. It wasn’t the Ritz, but I wasn’t getting run over either. Once I checked out the digs I was amazed and thankful that the AC worked. Even sleeping on top of the covers, I slept hard, right next to my trusty steed.




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No bribes or bandits - My initiation to Mexico: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=945109
Back Roads To Bama ride: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=842228
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:57 PM   #17
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:20 AM   #18
mark883
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Nothing quite like one's first solo ride into mexico- especially when its your first ride into Mexico!

No better way to see the country and appreciate the people.

Way to go.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:39 PM   #19
PhillipsMetal OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark883 View Post
Nothing quite like one's first solo ride into mexico- especially when its your first ride into Mexico!

No better way to see the country and appreciate the people.

Way to go.
Thanks everyone for following along.

When I started thinking about the trip, riding with more seasoned riders was an option. Although I had never been a group rider, it made sense. A lot of people expressed interest but they gradually dropped off and those that were available had completely different itineraries. In the end a solo ride made the most sense for me.

I will say that heading through some of the mountain roads was a little unsettling when I thought about not knowing the language, not having a phone and feeling completely dissociated from my world. But that is what makes it a bit of an adventure.

It also gave me an even deeper appreciation for those people that make it to the US with much less resources and manage to make a good living. Politics aside, it takes some big cajones to give up everything and migrate to a strange new world with no language skills, questionable transportation and bring home a relative fortune. These guys have to be the real adventurers of their home towns. Spending a couple of weeks on a top of the line motorcycle with a couple of credit cards and some cash in your pocket isn't really that tough.
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No bribes or bandits - My initiation to Mexico: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=945109
Back Roads To Bama ride: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=842228
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:02 PM   #20
PhillipsMetal OP
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June 6, 2013

Headed out of Tecoripa and decided to just take MX – 16 to Hermosillo, then south to see my friend Rick. The mountains gradually flattened out into a desert landscape and the temps steadily climbed. It was 90 degrees by 8 am, 105 degrees by noon and got up to about 108.








There were a lot of shrines on the side of the road and these really interest me, so I have spent some time studying them on my ride. I want to do some more research on how these have evolved on my next trip. One of the more elaborate shrines in the middle of nowhere had a sweet dog laying in the shade. I gave him some water and some food and thought seriously about taking him with me, but I had no idea how I would be received with a stray dog, since there seems to be so many of them down here. I made a note to find him on my way back and figure out something. I was dreaming of bringing him home.











I stopped at a store in Hermosillo to call Rick and let him know I was coming. The pay phone was broken, so I gave the cashier a few pesos to call his cell phone. No answer, so she tried to give me my money back, but I told her to keep it.





I knew Rick’s house was a turn by the OXXO station before the turn off to San Carlos, so I stopped there and asked around. The clerks did not know exactly where his house was but a yellow dune buggy was turning down the road and the clerk ran out and waved him down. It was Freddy and it turns out Freddy know everybody, including Ricardo. Freddy led me down some dirt roads and dropped me off where I needed to go.




Rick had just rolled in from giving an estimate on some work and had called the clerk back in Hermosillo, so he knew I was on the way. It was really good to see him in person after almost 30 years and he hadn’t really changed much. Same old Rick!


More pics of my visit to Santa Clara tomorrow.


__________________
No bribes or bandits - My initiation to Mexico: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=945109
Back Roads To Bama ride: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=842228
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:33 PM   #21
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:56 PM   #22
ShaftyNZ
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Loving your RR!

Hey Phillip

Really enjoying following your adventure - keep up the great writing and excellent photos!

Shafty
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:13 PM   #23
PhillipsMetal OP
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June, 2013 7

When my good friend drops off the face of the earth and claims to have found a better life away from the rat race and corporate hamster wheel, the 90% of my jaded side thinks that he has just dropped out and is running away. After all, we were both raised in retired military households and educated in government schools where the fact that the USA is the greatest country in the world was ingrained and nowhere else could compare. Especially Mexico. But then there was the 10% of me that realized that Rick was always bright and inquisitive and was known to travel the path less taken. That part of me trusted that he made the right decision.




We had talked over the years and he always reassured me that his life was as normal and typical as any live he would have in the US. In the next few days I would find out.




We both grew up in modest homes in rural Alabama. Visiting Rick’s home reminded me a lot of that time. He and his wife Artemiza had built their home from a single room on the property into a nice home. Artemiza painted the murals in the sun room and the entry hall. The sun room was the main gathering spot in the house and had a cool old stove for cooking out there. There was a kitchen inside the house also.

















Behind the home is Rick’s shop. He works out of this shop doing repairs and tinkering. Beside his shop is a trailer that he got in trade from a circus traveling through town and it is filled with lapidary equipment. Rick makes his living from both of these pursuits along with erecting garages and awnings. This fits Rick well as he always loved to tinker and solve problems.




Around mid morning a truck drives by blaring music from a loudspeaker. It’s a guy selling bottled water. As I see through the next couple of days, its possible to live here without ever leaving home for anything. There are delivery trucks for propane, tortillas, fruit, meat, and water that I saw. They each have different music. If that doesn’t get you by, the neighborhood is scattered with little stores. There is a typical country store where they charge your food until payday, several beer stores and assorted businesses. I would soon find out that is just the tip of the economy in these little town. Just like Rick’s house, this was a condensed version of our home town.




Chilaquiles for breakfast:






About midday Rick’s step daughter Marlena was driving in to Guaymas for some fabric and we hop in for the ride. Rick’s wife Artemiza is a seamstress and she specializes in wedding dresses and quiencenra dresses. Quiencenra is a celebration of a girl’s fifteenth birthday and is marked by an elaborate party where the dress is similar to a ball gown and is a prominent part of the event.







We took in the downtown and riverfront sights while Marlena shopped. Guaymas is a bustling place with government offices for the county seat and a nice walk along the water.











After returning home, things got real interesting.





An older man pulls up on a three wheeler and wants Rick to fix the steering tube that has been beaten out by decades of riding these dirt roads. With Rick interpreting I find out he is 76 years old and he rides this trike all over the place.





In a few minutes another older gentleman cruises up on a motorcycle and I find out he is 86 years old! And he is not babying his bike, he cruising at a pretty good clip down the dirt roads.





We chart for a while and these guys are out just making the rounds and enjoying life. The fellow on the trike is scopes out my bike and was smiling as he heard about my ride down. I guess he was ready to be cruising on some longer rides because he offered to trade me his house and his motorcycle for my bike. That was a little humbling.




We took a little ride down the road to see the main industry of the village, brick making.











As the afternoon approached we struck out towards San Carlos in search of free internet so I could let everyone know how I was suffering through the 100 degree heat and toughing it out on the road – lol. In sharp contrast to the harsh and humble desert landscape, San Carlos is an affluent resort town, with celebrities like Danielle Steel, Willie Nelson and Jon Claude Van Damme keeping homes there.








Rick and I amble into the coffee shop at the yacht club feeling like Eddie Murphy at the country club in Beverly Hills Cop. After I update the folks at home, we take a tour of the resort. Even though I am not a resort kinda guy, I have to admit this is a beautiful place. While we are there, Rick picks up a rock from the overlook and grinds me out a arrowhead on his lapidary equipment when we get back to the house.













For supper, we all loaded up and headed to Miramar.





We dined at an outdoor seafood restaurant and this place was a feast. I had something with marlin and everybody got exotic looking dishes. The seafood was so fresh I am not sure some of the octopus arms weren’t still wiggling. Artemiza and her daughter teamed up against the gringos and ordered our food with extra peppers and cut up the whole time. I did have a soup called beche, which means nekkid, and I guess it’s the brine from cooking the sea food. It was really good.
On the ride home we took the coastal road and ended up in San Carlos. It was a beautiful drive.
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No bribes or bandits - My initiation to Mexico: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=945109
Back Roads To Bama ride: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=842228
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:47 PM   #24
FishTaco
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What a great intro to Mexico! Enjoying your RR
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:47 AM   #25
SMC
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Thanks

This is a really great report.

Subscribed for more.
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:15 AM   #26
dwj - Donnie
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Hi John!

Turn the heat up, I need to head south!

Donnie
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:10 PM   #27
PhillipsMetal OP
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Originally Posted by dwj - Donnie View Post
Hi John!

Turn the heat up, I need to head south!

Donnie
LOL - no kidding. I have to pick up my bike from the shop Tuesday and the high is supposed to be 35. If nobody hears from me next week, I may have started my Mexico return a little early.
How is your new bike coming along!
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No bribes or bandits - My initiation to Mexico: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=945109
Back Roads To Bama ride: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=842228
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:04 PM   #28
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June 8, 2013

The day started out early with a customer for Rick showing up around 7 am. OK, let me rephrase that: The day started out early for Rick, while I slept through in – lol. A couple of families were headed from California to Puerto Vallarta and the tongue on their boat trailer broke. Rick got up and fabricated a patch that would get them back to his shop.


While we waited on them to return, Artimeza was busy on the sewing machine. In a universal situation that evidently spans the boundaries of language and borders, we got a huge laugh out of her latest job: altering the uniform of the local policeman.




The best part of the job was she was letting the shorts out AGAIN. I asked her if the local police were paid that well and they told me that when funding runs out, he will go door to door asking for gas money to keep patrolling. Maybe we should try that with the NSA and see if we can’t start reclaiming the land of the free.









The vacationers returned and Rick got to work. There were two car loads of people and they all unloaded and hung out off to the side. One of them headed to the store and returned with a couple of cases of beer and the adults started vacation early. There was no clock watching or edginess I would have expected from most people. They just started their vacation there and they were content with kicking back and watching Rick work. A big change from the attitude I would expect north of the border and one I would be also guilty of.




A quick trip to San Carlos to find an internet connection and I am hopelessly stuck in the sand. Oh well, guess I will have to stay a while…




The neighborhood was dotted with all kinds of small businesses. This small country store was a couple of blocks behind Rick’s home and they had charge accounts for the local residents. There were several small country stores in the village. There were mechanics, specialty shops and several modern looking beer stores.










Orange grove:




After Rick finished welding up the old man’s trike from yesterday, we rode around the area, then headed home and hung out until about midnight. Then we loaded up in search of a late supper. The homes down here are clustered together closely in micro neighborhoods. Everyone was outside talking by the road or hanging out in the yards.


We ended up about a mile down the road at a house in a neighborhood with a glass front pizza case filled with hot slices and next to that, hot dogs with all the toppings. The place is lit up with colored and flashing lights, but the funny part is right in the middle of this neighborhood at midnight is this awful techno / rock band that is CRANKING out some terrible noise. They had huge speakers set up for the computer mix and guitar and a giant drum set with 3 kids on it wailing away. I guess they were trying to overcome their lack of talent with enthusiasm. I can’t believe the neighbors weren’t over there cutting power to the house.







The food more than made up for the bad entertainment. The hot dogs were split and filled with HOT salsa and covered in mayo, cheese, tomatoes and wrapped with bacon. I ate one for Michelle while I was at it.
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No bribes or bandits - My initiation to Mexico: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=945109
Back Roads To Bama ride: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=842228
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:42 AM   #29
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Really good report.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:48 PM   #30
PhillipsMetal OP
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June 9, 2013

Its time to head home. I head north and see a few wrecks on the way. On a long straight away, I saw a large explosion of dust fill the air about a half a mile ahead and by the time I got to the truck, some good Samaritans had already removed the driver and headed out for the hospital.






An uneventful ride to the border, checked out and headed north. I thought the check out went much too easy, so I turned around, went back across the border to make sure my motorcycle was checked out. Turns out when they scanned my papers at a little check point it took care of the whole thing. Back across the border and heading north again. I guess I really didn’t want to leave after all.
Made it to Benson, AZ after spending a few hours cruising Tucson for old times sake.
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No bribes or bandits - My initiation to Mexico: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=945109
Back Roads To Bama ride: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=842228
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